My last post was published on 8th of March, just before we entered one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. Over 20,000 people have died just here in Spain.

We have learned and lived the pleasures and pains of home schooling, youtube fitness courses, zoom, baking bread, scrapping summer plans and, and just generally trying to find a way forward. It’s been hard to find the motivation for blogging.

What did I get up to these last few quarantine months:

  • I started a twitter thread documenting life in lock down. Thankfully we have a great terrace, so we at least had some access to outdoor space. I have spent many hours jumping rope with my kids. Many were less fortunate, and frankly I wonder how/if they kept their sanity.

  • I did a lot on Geomob. We (co-host Steven Feldman and I) put out a weekly podcast, we’re now approaching 20 episodes. Many thanks to all of our guests and listeners. Because we had to cancel the in-person events we switched to an online format, which went reasonably well, though it obviously isn’t the same as an in-person event. Our next event is June 10th, ping me if you’d like to join. We reflect on the first event in episode 13 of the podcast. One of the big challenges of a podcast though is the long feedback loop from recording to publishing to getting feedback. So if you’re listening, let me know.

  • While on the topic of podcasts, I managed to co-host a few episodes of bootstrapped.fm with my friend and fellow bootstrapepr, Steve McLeod. Yes, it is confusing to have two podcasts both co-hosted with someone named Steven. On bootstrapped we take a peak behind the current of our respective businesses and talk about the ups and downs of the journey.

  • As you can hear there, on the work side of things, things were not so disrupted, as we already worked remotely. The main challenge, and it is really not a minor one, was keeping focus. Our biggest project was publishing a guide to reverse geocoding. Other than that (and of course the normal day-to-day operations) we spent a fair amount of time on security and premium features (2FA, IP restriction, our security bounty program, supporting HTTP/2) for our customers. Many of our customers were negatively impacted by the shutdowns, but on the other hand we managed to gain customers who were switching to us from higher-priced alternatives like Google (here’s an overview of how to migrate from Google geocoding).

  • In that regard we were of course much luckier than many others whose business were completely destroyed. Talking with friends in the travel industry was absolutely scary. I was thankful to no longer be working in online real estate. My friends at GetAgent published a dashboard showing the effect of the shutdown on the UK real estate market and it made for sobering reading.

  • I cancelled several trips, but the one I was most disappointed about was not being able to speak at Femtoconf in early May. I may try to flesh my talk out and present it on a podcast. Frankly though it remains a challenge to find momentum and motivation. Like everyone, I’m ready for a break.

  • Our summer plans have obviously been dashed, we were planning on visiting family in Colorado. Thankfully we hadn’t yet booked. Instead we’re hopefully head to Germany, perhaps renting a car and taking our time to get there.

  • Despite it all I have not given up on angel investing, making two investments. One in Mintago (I’m hoping to get a post out about that soon), the other a geo start-up to hopefully be announced shortly.

  • With no going out I’ve been reading a fair amount. I vary between pure escapism, the highlight of which was Zweig’s Magellan. Der Mann und seine Tat, but also lots of Kim Stanley Robinson which has been a good backdrop to pondering the changes the crisis might enable in our society. No conclusions, but it is clear 2020 will be seen as a major turning point in most cultures - though whether for better or worse remains to be seen.

More soon I hope.